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Network Structure and the Aggregation of Information: Theory and Evidence from Indonesia

  • Vivi Alatas
  • Abhijit Banerjee
  • Arun G. Chandrasekhar
  • Rema Hanna
  • Benjamin A. Olken

We use unique data from 600 Indonesian communities on what individuals know about the poverty status of others to study how network structure influences information aggregation. We develop a model of semi-Bayesian learning on networks, which we structurally estimate using within-village data. The model generates qualitative predictions about how cross-village patterns of learning relate to different network structures, which we show are borne out in the data. We apply our findings to a community-based targeting program, where villagers chose which households should receive aid, and show that networks the model predicts to be more diffusive differentially benefit from community targeting.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18351.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18351.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18351
Note: PE POL
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  1. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  2. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2005. "Learning about a new technology: pineapple in Ghana," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2002. "Social networks and technology adoption in Northern Mozambique," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3539, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  5. Mueller-Frank, Manuel, 2013. "A general framework for rational learning in social networks," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(1), January.
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  7. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Social Connections and Incentives in the Workplace: Evidence from Personnel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3917, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Vivi Alatas & Abhijit Banerjee & Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken & Julia Tobias, 2010. "Targeting the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 15980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bandiera, Oriana & Burgess, Robin & Das, Narayan & Gulesci, Selim & Rasul, Imran & Sulaiman, Munshi, 2013. "Can Basic Entrepreneurship Transform the Economic Lives of the Poor?," IZA Discussion Papers 7386, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Munther A. Dahleh & Ilan Lobel & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2011. "Bayesian Learning in Social Networks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1201-1236.
  11. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  12. Banerjee, Abhijit & Chandrasekhar, Arun G & Duflo, Esther & Jackson, Matthew O., 2012. "The Diffusion of Microfinance," CEPR Discussion Papers 8770, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
  14. Jackson, Matthew O. & Yariv, Leeat, 2006. "Diffusion of Behavior and Equilibrium Properties in Network Games," Working Papers 1264, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  15. Gale, Douglas & Kariv, Shachar, 2003. "Bayesian learning in social networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 329-346, November.
  16. Jackson Matthew O. & Rogers Brian W., 2007. "Relating Network Structure to Diffusion Properties through Stochastic Dominance," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-16, February.
  17. repec:cep:stieop:43 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  19. Alderman, Harold & Haque, Trina, 2006. "Countercyclical safety nets for the poor and vulnerable," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 372-383, August.
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